MEREDITH — Scott Crowder not only runs the New England Pond Hockey Classic each year, he takes his own turn on the Meredith Bay ice as well. A former UMass skater, he plays with friends on the Winnipesaukee Whalers team that competes in the classic's open division, the toughest of seven.
"It is all about bringing people together to play some good old hockey and play outdoors," said Crowder when asked why he takes on such a task.
Devoted to promoting and expanding accessibility to the sport he grew up around in Nashua, Crowder founded the Classic five years ago and has shepherded its growth to where the just completed event featured 225 teams playing over three days on 22 improvised rinks. In addition to the Lakes Region tournament, he last year added a second tournament to his schedule on the ice of Lake Champlain, and this year is adding a third, on Flathead Lake, Montana.
A total of 42 teams started out the tournament in the open division. The Whalers began their first game on Friday facing the Young Green Guns from Boston, MA, but were "up to their A-game" and the contest ended in a draw. Later in the day the team took the ice once more facing the Bulldogs also from Boston. Their second game that day ended with a win.
After the Whalers picked up their second win, on Saturday against the Barn Burners from Metheun, MA, Crowder commented, "This is our favorite week of the year. There is nothing like taking the ice as a team and playing the sport we love. It is seeing the people all around grinning from ear to ear while enjoying some local food and local sport that makes it all worth it."
The Whalers then moved from Rink 3 to Rink 18 to face a team from Everett, MA calling itself State. The Whalers effort again produced a win, this time 18-10.
Moving on to the playoffs, the open division was narrowed down to the top 16 teams. The Whalers faced the Bauer Experience from Exeter and were eliminated by a score of 14-4. The division title was eventually claimed by Paddy's of Cambridge, MA, which earned a 2-1 win over the Ice Holes of Wakefield, MA, in the championship game.
"It was great being able to reconnect with friends from high school and college to play hockey, as well as enjoy the local food and drink in the area," said Crowder. "Watching thousands of people come together out on the ice has made it all worth it, and believe it or not, just one day after the 2014 tournament has come to an end I already have had people asking about the 2015 tournament so they can put it on their calendars."
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 12:42
HOLDERNESS — A Holderness woman is one of three Granite State skiers who have been named to the U.S. Olympic Ski Team which will be competing in the Winter Games later this month in Sochi, Russia.
Julia Ford was chosen for the Alpine Ski Team.
Ford, who turns 24 next month, is a 2008 graduate of Holderness School, where she was on the school's ski team, and also played soccer and lacrosse as well as serving at student body president.
"She's a very good athlete," said George "Jory" Macomber, the associate head of school at Holderness who also coached Ford when she was a freshman on the ski team. "What really impressed me was how she really focused in the big moments. The bigger the event the better she is."
A member of a ski-racing family, Ford competes in the downhill and the super giant slalom — or Super G – events. Macomber said that it has not yet been decided which events Ford will compete in at Sochi.
Ford's parents, Duane and Lori Ford, both work at Holderness School. Her father is the school's director of residential life and also teaches math and coaches the school's football and men's lacrosse teams. Her mother is a coach for the Holderness ski team, but was coaching in Vermont when Julia was at Holderness.
Ford, who is a student a Westminster College in Utah when she is not training for competition, is one of two Holderness graduates who will be competing in Sochi, according to Courtney Williamson, Holderness's director of communications.
The other is Julia Marino, who will be sole athlete representing Paraguay in the Winter Olympics. Marino, who graduated from Holderness in 2011, holds dual citizenship in Paraguay and the U.S. Born in the land-locked South American country, she grew up in Massachusetts and attended Holderness for her senior year. She is holds the distinction of being the first athlete to compete for Paraguay in the Winter Olympics.
Marino, who is a sophomore at the University of Colorado, will be competing in slopestyle skiing — a new event in the Winter Games. Slopestyle skiing consists of a downhill course with obstacles including jumps and rails (akin to skateboarding) that skiers use to perform tricks.
"We're very proud of our two Olympic athlete," said Williamson.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:45
An article in Tuesday's paper regarding a change in the way Gilford High School weights grades incorrectly reported that the change would go into effect in 2018. In fact, the change will be implemented for the Class of 2018 and for all Gilford High classes thereafter. The article also misquoted principal Peter Sawyer as discounting the value of SAT scores among college admissions counselors. The quote should have read, "What they look at is the rigor of the class and the grades they received... It's not the GPA or the class rank."
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 02:19
GILFORD — The deliberative session of Town Meeting postponed due to yesterday's snow storm will be held in the High School auditorium tonight at 7 p.m.
The annual meeting is part one of the two-part SB-2 process; voters will go to the polls on March 11 to vote on the warrant articles and to elect town officials.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 01:43
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